What qualifications do I need to be a Teaching Assistant?

What qualifications do I need to be a Teaching Assistant?

It may come as a surprise but at the moment there are no legal requirements to have a qualification to work as a teaching assistant. However, due to the competition for roles it is proving more and more difficult to land a job without one. There are other factors you should take into consideration and they are explained below also.


Unless the teaching assistant qualification is an accredited one, listed on the RQF (Regulated Qualification Framework) then it isn’t going to help you. We have put together a guide to teaching assistant courses which shows you how to check the validity of qualifications on the Ofqual website.

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The teaching assistant qualification that schools look for is called Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools. There is both a Level 2 and a Level 3. There is no requirement to do Level 2 so many students prefer to go straight to Level 3. We advise students to have a chat with one of our course advisers to help ascertain the best starting point.

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Most schools prefer you to have at least GCSE Maths and English or an equivalent Level 2 qualification such as Functional Skills to be employed as a teaching assistant.


Any prior experience of working with children will enhance your chances of landing a teaching assistant role. This includes after school clubs, nurseries as well of course as children of your own.


You will need a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to work as a Teaching Assistant. The DBS is a government agency responsible for conducting criminal record checks and barring lists checks on individuals who work with children or vulnerable adults. This check is a legal requirement for anyone working in a school, including Teaching Assistants.

The DBS check is used to identify any criminal convictions or cautions that you may have. The type of DBS check you need will depend on the specific role you are applying for, but most Teaching Assistant roles will require an enhanced DBS check. An enhanced DBS check will show details of any convictions, cautions, warnings, or reprimands you may have received, as well as any other relevant information held by the police.

It's important to note that you cannot apply for a DBS check on your own, your employer will have to initiate the process on your behalf. If you are interested in working as a Teaching Assistant, you should check with the school or education authority where you want to work to find out what their specific requirements are for DBS checks.